Steven Bernstein's Decoding Annie Parker is a drama based on the true story of two remarkable woman, Annie Parker, a three-time cancer survivor whose family has a long history of cancer, and geneticist, Mary-Claire King, whose research and subsequent discovery of the breast cancer gene is wildly considered one of the most important advancements in cancer research ever. Constructed in this sorta duel-narrative, Decoding Annie Parker chronicles these two woman for decades, one suffering from cancer, the other striving to prove the hereditary implications of cancer, as their lives eventually intersect towards the end of the film. The way Decoding Annie Parker's script navigates between both geneticist Mary-Claire King and Annie Parker's personal stories is well-constructed, presenting a story that feels both grandiose in its depiction of the scope of people affected by this horrible disease, and deeply personal in the way it portrays Annie's story. While the film unfolds in a rather conventional way for a docu-drama film, Samantha Morton's nuanced and complicated performance is what sets this film apart, elevating it as much as any actor could hope to achieve. She brings an incredibly amount of strength and fragility to the character, capturing a woman who lives in fear of Cancer, eventually finding the power to survive. Steven Bernstein's Decoding Annie Parker is a powerful yet uneven film that is an ode to all woman suffering from cancer, succeeding more than it fails due its strong central performance.
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